28 Dec Q&A with Jon Heimer, CEO, Olink Proteomics – Speaker at PMWC 2018 Silicon Valley
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[et_pb_accordion_item title=”Q: Olink has been rapidly growing its’ library of human protein biomarker assays. What are the popular clinical applications for your biomarker panels?”]
A: At the beginning of 2017, Olink launched 5 new panels (over 450 new targets) and expanded its offering to include around 1,000 validated protein assays. Another milestone reached this year is that there are now over 100 publications that cite using Olink panels, quite impressive considering the very first panel only came out in 2014. Olink’s ability to cast a broad proteomics net and isolate biomarker profiles for tailored approaches is being used for patient stratification, better understanding of pathophysiology of disease, predictive disease biomarkers, surrogates and optimizing wellness. We also see these types of applications applied across a range of clinical areas, including cardiovascular, neurological, inflammatory and metabolic diseases and oncology. You can see the latest list of these publications at www.olink.com/publications
[/et_pb_accordion_item][et_pb_accordion_item title=”Q: What are the benefits of Olink’s immune-oncology biomarker panel for researchers and clinicians working on immunotherapy-based cancer treatments?”]
A: It is the most comprehensive immune-oncology related protein panel out there, looking at 92 proteins simultaneously in only 1 uL of basically any sample type. Personalized oncology treatments are changing the way that we approach cancer therapy. The success of these therapeutic approaches will depend on an understanding of the underlying genetic mutations and the confirmatory proteomic profile of the cancer. Accessing non-invasive biomarkers, such as proteins present in blood or tissue, for the immuno-oncology area offer great potential benefits in helping to better understand the underlying pathophysiology, study therapeutic efficacy and stratify patients for clinical trials. Immune responses are complex and dynamic in nature, so monitoring changes at the protein level is likely to be important here. The immuno-oncology panel casts a relatively broad net, while enabling a targeted approach to include proteins involved in processes such as promotion and inhibition of tumor immunity, chemotaxis, vascular & tissue remodeling, apoptosis & cell killing and metabolism & autophagy.
[/et_pb_accordion_item][et_pb_accordion_item title=”Q: What are the benefits of the Olink Proximity Extension Assay technology? “]
A: PEA, or Proximity Extension Assay, is elegantly simple in its approach. PEA consists of pairs of antibodies linked to DNA oligos that, upon antibody binding on the protein, are brought into proximity, hybridize and can then be extended by a DNA polymerase, creating a new sequence that can be used as a template for measurement by qPCR.
Two antibodies must bind to the target protein for a signal to be generated, i.e dual recognition, which together with the fidelity of the unique PCR template generated, reduces non-specific binding and background. This results in increased sensitivity and specificity in a very broad dynamic range, compared to conventional immunoassays. PEA is truly scalable, whether you are measuring 92 protein targets from one of our panels, or narrowing the signature to a subset of protein assays. We currently have configured our assays to require only 1 microliter of sample per panel. The researcher can run nearly 1,000 protein assays with less than 20 uL of sample, that is quite a powerful tool, which will further enable scientific discovery.
[/et_pb_accordion_item][et_pb_accordion_item title=”Q: What do you see as the future of protein profiling for clinical utility?”]
A: Multiplexed proteomics has historically lagged behind genomics in the clinical biomarker arena, but this can be attributed mainly to the technologies available. It is probably fair to say that most people working with biomarkers and precision medicine see the essential role for protein biomarkers going forwards and many have been waiting for the right tools to do this. PEA can change that, truly enabling a proteomics technology that is already making a big impact in discovery applications in clinical research. Custom protein signatures are now being brought into the clinic for more tailored treatment strategies. We experience that signatures based on several proteins will be more powerful and robust than single proteins. Having a technology like PEA that is truly scalable may have some real benefits in potentially translating the findings from broad screening discovery to clinical utility of validated signatures enabling precision medicine.
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